Euro 2024: Italy’s Spalletti apologises after bizarre rant

Italy coach Luciano Spalletti, who can lose his cool when adrenaline is high, has apologised to a journalist after a rant at a postmatch news conference.

Even with his track record, few expected a reaction like the one witnessed after the Azzurri’s 1-1 draw — thanks to 98th-minute equaliser from Mattia Zaccagni — with Croatia on Monday.

When asked in the news conference whether he was “scared” after Italy went a goal down, he said: “If I was scared, I wouldn’t be coaching, I’d buy a ticket and sit with you in the stands. I can afford it, and even if I couldn’t, I have enough friends who can get me in.”

But what seemed really over the top was his answer when asked whether he and the players had made a “pact” over how to approach the Croatia game.

“Pact? Who told you that? Who told you that I speak to my players about such things? Whoever leaks stuff like this from inside … the pact is against us” he said. “I know what’s going on here.”

Turning to the journalist who asked the question, he added; “How old are you? 51? Well, if you j— off every day for another 14 years, maybe you’ll know as much as me.”

Spalletti called the reporter a few hours later, at 2 a.m, to apologise for his behaviour.